In-depth reviews

MINI Countryman SUV review

"The MINI Countryman is a fun and stylish family car that’s also practical and economical"

Carbuyer Rating

4.1 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.3 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Fashionable MINI image
  • Economical engines
  • Enjoyable to drive

Cons

  • Expensive optional extras
  • Looks a little ungainly
  • No diesel engine

The MINI Countryman ruffled a few feathers when it first launched, as it’s the largest model in the range and therefore the biggest departure from the spirit of the original Mini. Yet this small SUV went on to be a sales success and it’s now an established member of the MINI lineup. There are good reasons to like the Countryman; it’s a great family car.

The Countryman might be the largest MINI but it’s still a small SUV, and rivals include the Audi Q2 and BMW X1. You could also consider it alongside more mainstream models such as the Nissan Qashqai - and there’s also a plug-in hybrid version that rivals the Ford Kuga PHEV, Toyota C-HR and Kia Niro.

Top 10 best medium size and family SUVs 2022

MINI’s SUV looks more aggressive than the smaller MINI hatch, thanks to a more prominent grille and the design of the bumpers. You might love or hate the way the car looks, but it’s distinctive and carries the MINI identity thanks to the headlights and rounded bodywork. It’s an upmarket car when you step inside as well, with high-quality materials and plenty of technology.

It’s also upmarket in terms of price, as although the MINI’s price looks competitive, you need to consider the cost of options. If you add all the optional extras to match something like a BMW X1 you’ll find the prices are similar, so it’s worth knowing which bits of tech you want and only adding those to get the best deal.

The Countryman is still a MINI and it retains a sense of fun found in all MINI cars. It’s enjoyable to drive no matter which model you go for, from the entry-level model right up to the powerful and fast John Cooper Works version. Many of the engines are economical as well as smooth and easy to drive.

Countryman buyers have a broad choice of engines to choose from. The least expensive is a 134bhp three-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol that manages around 42.2mpg without feeling slow. The Cooper S will please those who want a little more power; its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine produces 176bhp and returns similar economy, as long as you don’t make use of all that power.

The MINI Countryman Plug-In Hybrid, which we've reviewed separately, combines the 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine with an electric motor, producing a total of 217bhp and is faster than the Cooper S, yet claims official economy of 156.9mpg. The best news is that it doesn’t compromise the Countryman’s nimble nature. It's also in the lowest Benefit-in-Kind banding so will appeal to company-car users, though it’s expensive to buy.

So, even if the looks and price don’t appeal to all, there’s little doubt that the engines have what it takes and build quality is excellent too. Thanks to its growth spurt, it’s a lot more family-friendly than the previous model and standard equipment has become more generous and more reflective of what buyers need, with features like sat nav now standard across the range. As well as the entry-level Classic trim level, there's the racy Sport and luxurious Exclusive to choose from, each of which are available with different engine options.

New for 2022 is the Untamed special edition. Said to be inspired by nature, the MINI Countryman Untamed brings dark green upholstery and exclusive graphics and alloy wheels.

Every MINI has its following and every Countryman appeals to different tastes. The practical entry-level Cooper has the urban school-run covered, the plug-in hybrid will suit business drivers in particular and the John Cooper Works delivers strong performance. It’s not cheap – and prices can rise still further once a few choice options have been ticked – but a five-star Euro NCAP rating shows that MINI hasn’t skimped on safety. This makes it a sensible car to buy and a safe one in which to put your family.

Recommended

Next-generation MINI Countryman to get even bigger
Countryman front
MINI Countryman SUV
25 Feb 2022

Next-generation MINI Countryman to get even bigger

MINI launches Shadow Edition models across entire range
MINI Shadow Edition range
MINI
25 Oct 2021

MINI launches Shadow Edition models across entire range

Most Popular

Speed awareness course: how much does it cost, how long does it take and how do you do one online?
Police car - open boot
Tips and advice
19 May 2022

Speed awareness course: how much does it cost, how long does it take and how do you do one online?

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers
Fiat 500 deals
Deals
20 May 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers

New car delivery times: how long will you have to wait?
Mazda3s at Bristol port
Car buying
17 May 2022

New car delivery times: how long will you have to wait?

More on Countryman

Top 10 best economical 4x4s, SUVs and crossovers 2022
Peugeot 3008 SUV front cornering
Best cars
9 May 2022

Top 10 best economical 4x4s, SUVs and crossovers 2022

SUVs and 4x4s don't have to be gas guzzlers. We've picked out some of the most economical SUVs you can buy
Top 10 best hybrid family cars 2022
Hyundai Tucson front quarter
Hybrid cars
4 May 2022

Top 10 best hybrid family cars 2022

Need a practical car with very low running costs? Read our guide to the best hybrid family cars
Next-generation MINI Countryman to get even bigger
Countryman front
MINI Countryman SUV
25 Feb 2022

Next-generation MINI Countryman to get even bigger

Contrary to the MINI name and ethos, the new Countryman SUV is set to grow in size for 2023
MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid SUV review
MINI Countryman PHEV driving
MINI Countryman hybrid
19 Jan 2022

MINI Countryman Plug-in Hybrid SUV review

“The MINI Countryman PHEV is cheap to run, fun to drive and quiet in traffic”
MINI launches Shadow Edition models across entire range
MINI Shadow Edition range
MINI
25 Oct 2021

MINI launches Shadow Edition models across entire range

Exclusive styling tweaks and extra equipment for MINI Shadow Edition models
Last petrol MINI to be launched in 2025
Yellow MINI driving - side view
MINI Countryman
17 Mar 2021

Last petrol MINI to be launched in 2025

MINI’s UK range will be completely electric by the end of the decade
Special edition cars: the best, worst and weirdest
Jeep Cherokee SUV
15 Dec 2020

Special edition cars: the best, worst and weirdest

Take a look at the best and most memorable special edition cars
MINI Countryman Boardwalk limited edition revealed
MINI Countryman
9 Dec 2020

MINI Countryman Boardwalk limited edition revealed

Only 325 Boardwalk Editions will be produced, boasting exclusive styling updates and extra kit
Facelifted 2020 MINI Countryman: John Cooper Works model detailed
2020 MINI Countryman John Cooper Works cornering
MINI Countryman
22 Jul 2020

Facelifted 2020 MINI Countryman: John Cooper Works model detailed

Styling tweaks and 302bhp JCW model for updated MINI Countryman range
Top 3 used plug-in hybrid family cars for £20,000
BMW 330e hybrid saloon
5 Jun 2020

Top 3 used plug-in hybrid family cars for £20,000

“Dear Carbuyer, I’ve got £20,000 to spend on a family car, and I want a plug-in hybrid. What would you recommend?”
302bhp MINI John Cooper Works Clubman and Countryman revealed
MINI John Cooper Works Clubman - front cornering
MINI Clubman estate
14 May 2019

302bhp MINI John Cooper Works Clubman and Countryman revealed

Latest JCW models get more power and will be on sale in July
Top 3 used plug-in hybrid SUVs for £28,000: MINI Countryman, Mitsubishi Outlander, Kia Niro
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV SUV
20 Dec 2018

Top 3 used plug-in hybrid SUVs for £28,000: MINI Countryman, Mitsubishi Outlander, Kia Niro

“Dear Carbuyer, I’m after a plug-in hybrid SUV without a premium price tag. What options are out there for £28,000?”
New MINI trim levels: Classic, Sport and Exclusive added to range
MINI hatchback
10 Oct 2018

New MINI trim levels: Classic, Sport and Exclusive added to range

Shakeup of MINI's model range to make line-up easier to understand
Suzuki Vitara hybrid on its way
2018 Suzuki Vitara front
Suzuki Vitara
19 Sep 2018

Suzuki Vitara hybrid on its way

Suzuki will introduce electrification to its range in the coming years, starting with the Vitara SUV
New MINI SUV expected in 2021
MINI Countryman hybrid
12 Dec 2017

New MINI SUV expected in 2021

An electrified small MINI SUV is set to rival Nissan Juke
Skoda Kodiaq tops latest Euro NCAP crash test results
Skoda Kodiaq SUV
31 May 2017

Skoda Kodiaq tops latest Euro NCAP crash test results

The Skoda Kodiaq and MINI Countryman Euro NCAP crash-test results are in, along with the Nissan Micra and Suzuki Swift
New MINI Countryman set for 11 February launch: prices, specs here
MINI Countryman SUV
25 Oct 2016

New MINI Countryman set for 11 February launch: prices, specs here

Biggest-ever MINI SUV gets new engines, better agility, more technology, more space and hybrid power for the first time
MINI Countryman SUV (2010-2016)
MINI Countryman SUV
11 Apr 2016

MINI Countryman SUV (2010-2016)

"The MINI Countryman isn't the most practical crossover in the world, but it's fun to drive and quite cheap to run."
MINI launches 4x4 Countryman Park Lane
MINI Countryman
2 Mar 2015

MINI launches 4x4 Countryman Park Lane

New all-wheel-drive model will be on sale in July
New MINI Paceman launched
MINI Paceman hatchback
19 Apr 2014

New MINI Paceman launched

Styling and interior updates for new MINI Paceman 2014 crossover

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
23 Mar 2022

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
25 Apr 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
3 May 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
3 Feb 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022